Share This Page

GOP picks woman to shepherd abortion bill

| Thursday, June 13, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Rep. Marsha Blackburn will replace Rep. Trent Franks to manage debate on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy after he questioned whether many pregnancies are caused by rape, said House Republican leadership aides.

The decision to replace Franks, an Arizona Republican, occurred a day after Democrats pounced on his comment in a House Judiciary Committee meeting that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is very low.”

Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, will be floor manager for the bill when the House brings it up for a vote next week, said two aides who asked not to be identified to discuss a decision that hasn't been officially announced.

“Marsha would be a wonderful person to speak to it on the floor,” Franks said. “We do that many times where we have different people speaking to different bills. I think she would be a wonderful candidate for that.”

Franks declined to say whether Blackburn was the official choice. Still, the six-term lawmaker said he will play whatever role he is assigned.

“I'm a policy guy, I just want the right thing to happen and if there are better voices than mine, then bring them on,” Franks said.

Franks's measure, H.R. 1797, was approved on Wednesday by an all-male Republican majority in the House Judiciary Committee.

During the panel's debate, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California called Franks's remark “astonishing.” She said “the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of rape is outrageous.”

The Judiciary Committee's 20-12 vote to approve the bill “provides the Democrats with an abundance of message opportunities to solidify their very strong position with female voters,” said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.